the Mayo Clinic staff, hoarding is defined as – “The excessive collection of items, along with the inability to discard them. Hoarding often creates such cramped living conditions that homes may be filled
to capacity, with only narrow pathways winding through stacks of clutter. Some
people also collect animals, keeping dozens or hundreds of pets often in
Have you ever watched
the TV show, “Hoarders” or “Hoarders, Buried Alive,” and thought to
yourself, “That could be me”? Maybe
you’re overwhelmed looking at your own piles of stuff, wanting to keep
everything just the way it is, yet knowing deep down that you can’t continue
living your life this way. The term “hoarder” has such a negative connotation,
that people are often paralyzed at the thought of letting anyone in to see the
state of their home.
is another classification for people who like to hold onto their stuff, it’s
called chronically disorganized. You’ve
tried to get organized before, and it worked for a little while, but slowly
things just went back to the way they were. And then there are my favorites, “pack rat”, or “collector”.
If one of the labels
above rings true for you, what can you do to make a change? Whatever you call
it, compulsive hoarding, chronic
disorganization or collecting, they all have the same effect on you and your
life. Organizing your hoarded home and improving your hoarding lifestyle are
big steps and when you’re really
ready, you’ll need to ask for help. When you reach out and surround
yourself with a caring and compassionate support system, you’re headed toward
the change you desire.
There may have
been a significant event in your life that started you down the road to
hoarding, or it could have been that you recognized early on that organizing
was a challenge for you. It may have started with one messy room, and before
you knew it, your home was completely full of stuff and out of control. A kind
friend or even a hoarding TV show may have helped you realize the truth of how
you’re living. Now you want to change your life.
Some people don’t
believe that it’s possible to go into a cluttered room, and with the help of a
Professional Organizer, have it completely organized in a couple of hours. Or
even the ability to have an organizer get an entire house done in a matter of
days. Yet it is true. When a person is truly ready to commit to a new start,
and is ready to make some tough decisions, huge strides can be made each day. You
can go from a home that is overwhelmingly cluttered, to one that is
organized and comfortable. It can happen, and when it does, you feel so
empowered to have gained control over your stuff instead of your stuff having control
Just close your
eyes and picture a different environment for yourself and your family – from a
hoarded/cluttered home to a more livable, more organized home. Envision the improved
quality time you will have to spend with your family or friends. Allow yourself
to conceive of no more anxiety about inviting friends over. If all of this sounds
like something you’re ready to experience, you can change your environment and
your habits, and live a changed life! But just imagining a different future is
only one step toward organization.
The next step
is to enlist help. A Professional Organizer can help you
see what needs to be done and help you develop a reasonable organizing plan.
Working beside you, a trained organizer can ease your anxiety and help you take
action as you dig out from the clutter.
You may be
surprised that just asking for help, even if it’s just from family and friends,
begins an amazing process of change!